Amazon looks to open Davenport center in spring, on top of spending $250M in Iowa since 2010

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An employee at an Amazon fulfillment center.

When Amazon opens its big new fulfillment in northwest Davenport this spring, it will become the 16th largest employer in the Quad Cities.

Amazon’s new robotic fulfillment center is the largest economic development project in QC history. When the 640,000-square-foot center opens next year, it will spread across 158 acres at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center (off Northwest Boulevard and I-80) and employ 1,000 workers.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center, off Northwest Boulevard and I-80, Davenport.

Amazon spokeswoman Caitlin Polochak said this week the company will begin hiring for the 1,000 jobs 30 days from the launch date in the spring. Starting wage will be $15 an hour and job descriptions can be found at aboutamazon.com.

“We are excited to continue our investment in the state of Iowa and look forward to creating 1,000 new, full-time jobs,” Polochak, regional PR manager for Amazon, said this past July in announcing the project. “The site will help us continue to serve customers with great delivery options. We appreciate the support from state and local leaders who have made Amazon’s growth in Iowa possible.”

The e-commerce behemoth continues to hire like crazy, adding to its 1.3-million-person global workforce, including 950,000 employees in the U.S. A year ago, it opened a similar fulfillment center in Bondurant, Iowa (northeast of Des Moines), which employs 1,000 people. Amazon has four warehouses in the Des Moines metro area, a delivery center in Iowa City, and a Whole Foods grocery store in West Des Moines.

The 640,000-square-foot Amazon center under construction in Davenport, is to open this spring.

Polochak provided this snapshot of Amazon in the Hawkeye State:

  • $250+ million invested in Iowa since 2010, including infrastructure and compensation to employees.
  • $200+ million added into state gross domestic product GDP thanks to Amazon investments.
  • 1,500+ full- and part-time jobs created in Iowa—and they continue to hire (as of Q4 2020).
  • 2,000+ indirect jobs supported on top of direct hires in Iowa (based on Input-Output methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).
  • 9,100+ small and medium business sellers and independent authors in the state growing their businesses with Amazon.
  • 14,000+ charitable organizations that Amazon customers can support simply by shopping on AmazonSmile.

Amazon is pledging to hire over 100,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses company-wide by 2024, building on its commitment to military families after far exceeding its pledge to hire 25,000 by 2021.

Amazon currently employs more than 40,000 veterans and military spouses across multiple businesses, including Operations, Sustainability, Alexa, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). All regular full-time employees receive at least $15 an hour and comprehensive benefits that begin their first day on the job, and access to programs to help them train for higher-paying jobs in robotics, cloud computing, and other in-demand fields.

An employee at an Amazon fulfillment center. The company has over 950,000 workers in the U.S.

“Amazon is focused on recruiting and developing military talent with training programs specifically designed to help veterans transition into roles in the private sector,” said John Quintas, Amazon’s director of global military affairs. “We value the unique skills and experience that the military community brings—and our new hiring commitment will expand the impact that military members currently have on every single business across the company.”

In Illinois, Amazon has 36,000 employees, including 20 fulfillment centers, 20 delivery stations and 28 Whole Foods stores. On Dec. 21, Amazon announced plans to create more than 2,000 corporate and tech jobs in Austin, Texas, over the next few years, further expanding the company’s Austin Tech Hub.

Since 2010, Amazon has created more than 70,000 full- and part-time jobs in Texas and invested more than $29 billion across the state, including infrastructure from fulfillment centers, Whole Foods Market locations, and three tech hubs. 

Among employee benefits are that birth mothers get up to 20 weeks of paid leave and non-birth parents have access to six weeks paid leave.

Amazon — which owns Prime Video, the Kindle, Echo, Alexa, Amazon Web Services and Whole Foods grocery stores — had $386 billion in 2020 revenues.

The second-largest retailer in the nation (next to Walmart), Amazon reported 2020 revenue of $386 billion, up 38 percent from 2019. In comparison, the QC’s largest employer, John Deere, had $44 billion in total revenue for fiscal year 2021.

The largest 16 employers in the Quad Cities (including Amazon in 2022), according to the QC Chamber, are:

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